Tags: Law Enforcement | Paul Ryan | paul ryan | sentencing | reform | republicans

Paul Ryan Strives For Sentencing Reform With Unsure GOP

Image: Paul Ryan Strives For Sentencing Reform With Unsure GOP

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisc. (AP Photo)

By    |   Tuesday, 27 Sep 2016 04:16 PM

House Speaker Paul Ryan can't convince his fellow Republicans to support his criminal justice reforms despite months of trying.

Ryan hopes to pass legislation that would make nonviolent prisoners who behave well eligible for early release, as well as lessen requirements for sentencing in drug crimes. If passed, Republicans hope it will help win over minority voters who feel disproportionately affected by the criminal justice system.

But in the wake of several police-related shootings, protests, and Republican nominee Donald Trump calling for "stop and frisk," the GOP leadership is wary of the issue.

"It's not an easy thing to make these reforms, and the [Judiciary] committee has taken some time doing it; now they're taking time educating members on it," Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said Monday on the package of bills, Politico reported. "It is a priority for the speaker. There are concerns . . . so we're getting all the questions answered."

The bills would not remove mandatory minimums, but they would severely reduce sentences for nonviolent drug-related crimes.

The opposition to reform was aided by information released by the FBI on Monday. The statistics show in the United States violent crimes rose four percent last year, while murders increased 11 percent. Many Republicans refuse to oppose law enforcement officials during a time of increased violent crime.

"It doesn't sell back home right now," Rep. Bill Flores of Texas, chairman of the Republican Study Committee, told Politico. "When you say, 'Hey, I'm voting for criminal justice reform,' they'll say, 'What? You're letting prisoners out of prison early?'"

Ryan had to push back his timetable for passing the reform bills from September to the lame-duck session this winter.

"I'm trying to get criminal justice reform done this session of Congress," Ryan said at the Economic Club of New York last week, from Politico. "That train is on the tracks, and I'm hoping we can get that done sooner rather than later."

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House Speaker Paul Ryan cannot convince his fellow Republicans to support his criminal justice reforms despite months of trying.
paul ryan, sentencing, reform, republicans
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2016-16-27
Tuesday, 27 Sep 2016 04:16 PM
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